A tyre supply crisis in formula one has been averted at the eleventh hour.
As he departed Shanghai, Pirelli’s F1 chief Paul Hembery warned that unless an agreement for much more tyre testing ahead of the 2017 regulations was rubber-stamped immediately, the Italian company would pull out of the sport.
But Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport said the F1 Commission had averted the crisis by “approving” rule tweaks to accommodate Pirelli’s new test needs.
An FIA spokesman confirmed the news.
However, a tumultuous start to the political year in F1 is continuing.
Red Bull’s Christian Horner thinks moves to improve the engine situation will falter, after the FIA pushed for a reduction in costs, guarantee of supply, a convergence of performance, and more noise.
“As we sit here now we are not anywhere near having met any of those criteria,” he said.
And now most of the teams – McLaren and Red Bull aside – are rebelling against the sweeping chassis changes for 2017, fearing more downforce will only make overtaking more difficult.
Mercedes’ Toto Wolff thinks F1 is making the car changes at exactly the wrong moment, just as Ferrari and Red Bull are finally closing the gap to the reigning champions.
“We should just leave it alone,” he said. “We don’t have the advantage we had last year, the racing is great and it will become even greater if we leave the regulations alone.”
Finally, Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport reports that amid frustration at the toxic political situation, F1’s major manufacturers are pushing for the deposing of F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.